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Monday, January 12, 1998 Published at 23:10 GMT



Sport

The world's greatest footballer
image: [ The former Brazilian superstar, Pele, congratulates fellow Brazilians Ronaldo (left) and Roberto Carlos ]
The former Brazilian superstar, Pele, congratulates fellow Brazilians Ronaldo (left) and Roberto Carlos

The Brazilian international and Inter Milan striker, Ronaldo, has been named as Fifa's player of the year for the second year running.

He polled 86 first-place votes out of a possible 121 from a panel of coaches and soccer personalities to beat his fellow Brazilian, Roberto Carlos.

The Dutch striker, Dennis Bergkamp and Zinedine Zidane of France came joint third.

At the awards ceremony in Paris, 21-year-old Ronaldo said he was honoured to win the award for the second time and paid tribute to Roberto Carlos.

"He is a very mighty player who has improved a great deal recently," he said. "He is a friend of mine and I have a lot of respect for him."

It is the first time any player has won the award twice. Previous winners have been among Lothar Matthaus of Germany, Marco van Basten of Netherlands and Roberto Baggio of Italy.

Ronaldo said his next aim was to help Brazil win the World Cup in this year's finals in France.

Asked if he could beat the record of 13 goals set by French striker, Just Fontaine, in the 1958 finals, Ronaldo said: "It's quite a record. I would like to break it but the main thing is to win the World Cup.

"I'm still young and I have some time left for more rewards and records. I'll stop playing the day I feel the motivation has faded away."

Fifa's top 10 :

  • 1. Ronaldo (Brazil)
  • 2. Roberto Carlos (Brazil)
  • 3 equal. Dennis Bergkamp (Netherlands)
  • 3 equal. Zinedine Zidane (France)
  • 5. Raul (Spain)
  • 6. Alessandro Del Piero (Italy)
  • 7. Davor Suker (Croatia)
  • 8. equal. Gabriel Batistuta (Argentina)
  • 8 equal. Alan Shearer (England)
  • 10 equal. Leonardo (Brazil)
  • 10 equal. Peter Schmeichel (Denmark)







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